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Postgame Wrap-Up: Kvaca Makes 33 Saves

Goaltender helps Avalanche earn first win of Vegas Rookie Faceoff

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab /

LAS VEGAS--The Colorado Avalanche's offense came alive in the third period of its last game at the Vegas Rookie Faceoff, but the team wouldn't have been able to get the win without a strong performance in net.

Goaltender Petr Kvaca made his second start of the rookie tournament and made 33 saves in the Avs' 6-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday. He faced 10 or more shots each period.

"I wanted to win," Kvaca told after the contest. "I had it in my mind to win and [and help the team], and I'm glad that we won the game."

The Brandys nad Labem, Czech Republic, native and fellow keeper Justus Annunen split the first contest of the rookie tournament on Saturday versus the Vegas Golden Knights, with the netminders switching places in the middle of the second period in a pre-determined swap.

Kvaca's 60-minute performance had a better ending than his 30:16 of work against the Golden Knights when he made 15 saves on 21 shots.

"I was happy for him," said Avalanche assistant general manager Craig Billington of Kvaca. "The first game he played, a lot of goals early on. So for a chance for him to get back in there and play an entire game and get a win and feel good about it. It's nice that he got the job done."

Video: Avs Rookies vs. Sharks highlights

Colorado's fourth-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, Kvaca is at his second rookie tournament with the team after seeing action in one game at last year's event in San Jose.

"It's good for me because now I have a lot experience for the next [time]," he said. "I'm glad to be here."

Kvaca will return to his native country following camp where he will once again be the No. 1 goalie for Ceske Budejovice in the second Czech pro league. He posted a 20-12 record, 1.75 goals-against average, .923 save percentage and five shutouts in 32 regular-season games with the club last year.

Video: Petr Kvaca after the Avs Rookies win vs. Sharks

SCORING LEADERS: Brandon Saigeon led the Avalanche in scoring at the Vegas Rookie Faceoff, tallying five goals in three games.

Selected 140th overall by Colorado in the fifth round of this past summer's draft, Saigeon was part of a handful of players that impressed during the rookie tournament.

"I'm happy for him, but I'm happy for all of our prospects," said Billington when asked about Saigeon's play. "You look at the guys that get out there and get a chance to perform. Sometimes its reflected on the scoresheet, and other times its guys that aren't rewarded on the scoresheet but they're doing really good things. Overall, I was pleased with what we saw."

Ty Lewis was second on the team in points with four (all assists), while Vladislav Kamenev (one goal and two assists) and Logan O'Connor (two goals and an assist) were tied for third place.

3 IN 4: Seven players took part in every game at the rookie tournament for the Colorado, with forwards Ty Lewis, Nick Henry, Martin Kaut, Brandon Saigeon and Igor Shvyrev and defensemen Josh Anderson and Sergei Boikov suiting up three times in a 67-hour period.

After playing 7 p.m. and 5 p.m. local time contests on Saturday and Sunday, Tuesday's game versus the Sharks had an 11:15 a.m. start.

"It was an earlier game, it was a bit different," Henry said. "Your routine is a little bit off. Honestly, I felt pretty good today and it went pretty well."

If the Avs were tired, they didn't show it. The team played some of its best hockey in the third period when it scored four of its six goals.

Video: Nick Henry recaps Avs' performance in Vegas

LINEUP NOTES: Travis Barron, Matthew Boucher, Kevin Davis, Josh Dickinson, Michael Joly, Nicolas Meloche, Sean Strange and Cole Ully were Colorado's scratches for the team's third contest in Vegas.

After watching the first two games of the rookie tournament, Nolan De Jong played for the first time and scored the outing's first goal 4:09 into the opening period

Vladislav Kamenev once again wore the 'C' on the front of his jersey as team captain of the rookies, while J.C. Beaudin and Sergei Boikov were the alternates for the contest.

WHAT'S NEXT: Avalanche training camp.

The rookies traveled back to Colorado following the game against San Jose and will get the next two days to recover and get ready for the NHL training camp.

Avs veterans report to camp for medical and physical testing on Thursday before on-ice practices begin Friday at Family Sports Center.

Avalanche Lineup vs. San Jose Sharks

Ty Lewis - J.C. Beaudin - Martin Kaut
Vladislav Kamenev - Igor Shvyrev - Logan O'Connor
Robbie Holmes - Brandon Saigeon - Nick Henry
Cole Reinhardt - Tim McGauley - R.T. Rice

Sergei Boikov - Josh Anderson
Alex Breton - Matthew Pufahl
Turner Ottenbreit - Nolan De Jong

Petr Kvaca
Justus Annunen

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